Where Do Car Accidents Most Occur in Bakersfield?

Experience Lawyer for Car Accidents near Bakersfield, CA area

Helping Those Injured in California Car Accidents Obtain Compensation

Each year, thousands of car accidents happen in Bakersfield. With its many car accidents and the serious injuries they cause, the city has earned its unfortunate reputation as one of the most unsafe places in the country in which to drive. It’s important to understand where most car accidents occur in Bakersfield so you can remain extra vigilant to avoid a collision.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a Bakersfield car accident, you may recover significant financial compensation through a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. First, you must show that the other driver was responsible for your injuries. Proving negligence after a car accident is not about what you know but what you can prove. If you do not have the evidence, you won’t receive financial compensation.

Hire a car accident lawyer right after your Bakersfield car accident to put yourself in the best legal position. It does not cost you anything out of your pocket to get legal help, but it can cost you everything if you wait too long to hire an attorney.

Bakersfield Car Accident Statistics

Here are some key statistics and information about car accidents in Bakersfield, California:

  • Bakersfield has a higher rate of fatal car accidents compared to the California state average. In a recent year, there were 52 fatal crashes resulting in 57 deaths in Bakersfield.
  • During that same time, there were over 2,300 total injury crashes in Bakersfield. Common injuries include whiplash, concussions, broken bones, and lacerations.
  • Crashes are most frequent during evening commute hours on weekdays (3 pm-6 pm) and weekend nights. Nearly 40% of fatal accidents occur between 9 pm-3 am.
  • Motorcycle and pedestrian accidents are disproportionately deadly. While only about 3% of crashes involve a motorcycle, they account for nearly 20% of traffic fatalities. Pedestrians are involved in 6% of accidents but 33% of deaths.
  • Seatbelt usage is lower in Kern County compared to the state average, contributing to the fatality rate. Roughly 10% of vehicle occupants don’t regularly wear seatbelts.

Bakersfield Roads Have Heavy Traffic

Even though Bakersfield is far from the largest city in California, Bakersfield residents spend roughly 65 hours on its highly congested roads each year, the 24th-highest total in the United States.

The figure continues to increase as more workers return to the office after the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the city’s design did not account for the current high population totals. The roads simply cannot accommodate the number of drivers who use them daily as safely as they should.

Bakersfield Drivers Are Among the Most Dangerous in the County

Bakersfield drivers rank among the worst in the country in many metrics. For example, the city is the seventh-worst in the United States for serious pedestrian accidents.

The primary reason Bakersfield roads are so dangerous is the prevalence of alcohol-related crashes. Bakersfield has the fourth-highest rate of alcohol-related fatalities and injuries in the country. In addition, the city has a high rate of speeding-related accidents.

These statistics add up to one shocking fact. Quote Wizard ranks Bakersfield drivers as the absolute worst in the country. Bakersfield drivers lead the way among eight California cities that have earned the dubious distinction of being in the top ten for having the worst drivers. The situation in Bakersfield has only worsened in the past several years, as drivers picked up worse habits during the pandemic.

The Most Dangerous Intersections in Bakersfield

Overall, the highest number of crashes happen in Downtown Bakersfield and the northeastern part of the city. Ming Avenue is one of the busiest thoroughfares in Bakersfield. Anyone with a business in Bakersfield will travel on or intersect with Ming Avenue. Accordingly, the list of the most dangerous intersections in Bakersfield includes several intersections with Ming Avenue.

The intersections reported as the most dangerous in the city are in the southwest part of the city, including:

  • Ming Avenue and New Stine Road
  • Gosford Road and Ming Avenue
  • Real Road and Wilson Road
  • 34th Street and Q Street
  • Brundage Lane and P Street
  • H Street and Ming Avenue
  • H Street and Planz Road
  • Baker Street and Niles Street
  • H Street and Wilson Road
  • 4th Street and Union Avenue

Intersections along major routes like Truxtun Ave, Stockdale Highway, and major interchanges along CA-99 and I-5 tend to see the highest concentration of accidents.

Highway 99 Has Its Own Particular Dangers

Many people associate Bakersfield with Highway 99. However, the road is also one of the most dangerous spots in the city. Due to the traffic congestion, there are often multi-car pileups on the road, especially during rush hour.

For example, a fiery crash on Highway 99 in March 2023 took the lives of two people and severely injured several others.

Rush-hour accidents often back up traffic on Highway 99. Many crashes happen when one driver rear-ends the car in front of them. Then, cars behind them that can not stop in time might strike that car.

In general, Highway 99 has poor lighting, and it only has two lanes to carry traffic. Thus, the roadway can become even more dangerous at night.

Bakersfield’s safety situation is only worsening, with the number of serious accidents increasing, even if the number of overall car accidents has not.

The Legal Difficulties Associated with Intersection Car Accidents

There are some challenges in an intersection crash, mainly when it occurs at a stop sign. The drivers may each tell a different story. One driver may try to cover up the fact that they were the one who caused the accident. When two drivers say different things, it is called a “truth contest.” You will need to have evidence to break the deadlock and prove your side of the case.

If the accident occurred in an intersection, more sources of proof can show what happened. It will be more apparent which driver ran the red light or was to blame for the crash. If the intersection was busy like those listed above, chances are that multiple witnesses to the accident can testify about what happened. Testimony from an objective third-party witness is powerful evidence in a car accident case.

Things can be more challenging when the accident occurs at a stop sign or an unsigned intersection. There may have been fewer people around, and you may not have witness testimony demonstrating who had the right of way. You may need to use other forms of evidence, such as testimony from an accident reconstruction expert.

Rear-End Car Accidents in Bakersfield

Not all crashes occur within the intersection. Another common type of accident is a rear-end accident. In nearly all cases, this accident is the fault of the rear driver who has struck the car in front of them. Distractions might have prevented them from seeing the car stopped in front of them. Alternatively, they may have broken the speed limit and not given themselves enough room to stop.

You Must Prove Negligence in Every Car Accident Case

No matter where the car accident occurred, your case’s legal rules remain the same. You must have an attorney prove liability for your accident by presenting evidence of another driver’s negligence. Your lawyer has the burden of proof to show that the driver acted in a way that another reasonable driver would not have under the circumstances. In most cases, an attorney must prove the other driver’s carelessness.

What Are the Main Causes of Car Accidents in Bakersfield?

The main causes of car accidents in Bakersfield, California include:

  • Distracted driving: This includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, or engaging in other activities that take the driver’s attention away from the road.
  • Speeding: Driving above the posted speed limit or too fast for road conditions increases the risk of accidents and the severity of injuries in the event of a crash.
  • Impaired driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications that cause drowsiness can significantly impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time.
  • Reckless driving: Aggressive behaviors such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights, or failing to yield the right of way can lead to accidents.
  • Fatigue: Drowsy driving, particularly among commercial truck drivers or individuals working long hours, can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
  • Poor road conditions: Potholes, inadequate signage, or malfunctioning traffic signals can contribute to accidents, especially when combined with other factors like speeding or distracted driving.
  • Vehicle malfunctions: Mechanical issues such as brake failures, tire blowouts, or steering problems can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
  • Inclement weather: Fog, heavy rain, or other adverse weather conditions can reduce visibility and make roads slippery, increasing the risk of accidents.

By understanding these common causes of motor vehicle accidents, drivers in Bakersfield can take steps to reduce their risk of being involved in a collision, such as avoiding distractions, obeying traffic laws, and adjusting their driving to suit road and weather conditions.

Severe Injuries Associated with Bakersfield Car Accidents

Some of the most common severe injuries associated with motor vehicle collisions in Bakersfield include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) – Sudden jolts or blows to the head from the impact of a crash can cause concussions, brain bleeds, skull fractures and other types of TBI. These can lead to long-term cognitive, sensory and emotional impairments.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries – Damage to the spinal cord from the forces of a collision can cause paralysis, loss of sensation, chronic pain and other debilitating effects. Even a partial spinal cord injury can require extensive rehabilitation.
  • Internal injuries – A car crash can cause internal injuries, such as organ damage and internal bleeding. These types of injuries can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.
  • Bone Fractures – High-impact crashes frequently lead to broken bones, especially in the arms, legs, hips, pelvis and ribcage. Severe compound fractures may require surgery and lengthy recovery.
  • Crush Injuries – Getting pinned or crushed by crumpling vehicle frames can cause compartment syndrome, internal organ damage, blood loss and sometimes necessitate amputation of limbs.
  • Burns – Fires, explosions and exposure to caustic chemicals during an accident can inflict painful burns and permanent disfigurement.
  • Neck & Back Injuries – Whiplash, cervical spine damage, slipped discs and soft tissue damage to the neck and back are very common accident injuries that often become chronic conditions.
  • Psychological Trauma – The mental and emotional impact of a serious crash can result in PTSD, anxiety, depression and phobias even if the physical injuries heal.

Many severe accident injuries lead to long-term disabilities that drastically alter the victim’s life. They may be unable to work and require ongoing medical care. Seeking prompt treatment, documenting injuries carefully and consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney are important steps to take when severely injured in a Bakersfield car accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Holding at-fault parties accountable can provide vital compensation to aid in the recovery process.

You Need a Car Accident Lawyer Immediately for Your Case

You will need to hire an experienced lawyer right after your car accident, so they can compile the evidence you need for your case. You begin to lose car accident evidence once the authorities clear the accident scene. The longer you wait to get legal help, the harder it will be to prove your side of the story.

If you cannot make the phone call to the lawyer, have a family member do it. Getting prompt legal help is perhaps the critical difference in a car accident case.

Do not wait to hire a lawyer until you have already dealt with the insurance company and are dissatisfied with the results. By then, it may be too late to salvage what might have been a strong case.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Case

Here is what a car accident lawyer can do for your case:

  • Investigate your accident and gather evidence that can help prove your car accident case, including identifying and talking to witnesses
  • Review your situation to come up with an estimate of damages
  • Keep you shielded from the insurance company and their attempts to trip you up or trick you
  • Prepare your claim to file with the insurance company or your lawsuit to file in court
  • Deal with the insurance company by speaking with them and responding to them
  • Negotiate a possible settlement on your behalf after likely evaluating and rejecting multiple low-settlement offers
  • Litigate your case in court if the insurance company will not pay you what you deserve

Your Damages in a Bakersfield Car Accident Case

When you can prove liability for your car accident, the responsible driver must pay you for all the damages you have suffered.

Car accident damages include:

  • Economic damages that compensate you for the money that you had to pay because of your accident and the money you cannot earn due to your injuries
  • Non-economic damages account for the experience that you have had and will have in the future. You can be in physical pain or dealing with anxiety and depression. The responsible driver must compensate you for what you endured.

How Much You Pay for a Bakersfield Car Accident Lawyer

Mickey Fine, Car Accident Lawyer near Bakersfield ca area

Mickey Fine, Car Accident Attorney in Bakersfield

A Bakersfield car accident lawyer works for you on a contingency basis. You do not have to come up with the money to pay them to get you working on your case. Your lawyer will not ask you for money as long as your case is pending. After your case, they will not even ask you for money for their services.

If you win, your lawyer receives a portion of your settlement or jury award as their fees. The lawyer does not receive payment for their time and services if you do not win. The contingency law system is another reason why it never hurts to call a lawyer right after a car accident.

You can afford a car accident lawyer, so there is no reason not to hire one. Your lawyer will help you get the highest amount of damages possible. Without legal representation, insurance companies will take advantage of you, and you risk making a mistake that can jeopardize your entire claim.

Contact an Experienced Bakersfield Car Accident Attorney Today

If another driver’s careless or reckless actions caused a car accident in Bakersfield that hurt you or a close family member, don’t delay in getting the legal help you need to obtain the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Hire a top-rated Bakersfield personal injury law firm‘s attorney before you ever begin insurance communications. However, it is never too late to hire a car accident lawyer if you already started the process. Call for a consultation today.

Car Accident
by Mickey Fine Law
Published on